Can You Lay New Shingles Over Old Ones?

If you’re curious about the answer to today’s article question, can you lay new shingles over old ones, then keep reading. Today we will give you a brief guide on how to lay new shingles over old ones. First, however, there are some benefits and considerations to keep in mind. 


In short, yes, you can secure new shingles over your existing ones. In this article, we will show you how to do it and what materials you’ll need. Lastly, we’ll also go over how to decide if your repair project is something bigger. 

What You'll Need

First, you’ll want to assess your roof. Check out how many shingles are damaged or missing to better predict how many to buy. Traditional asphalt shingles are relatively easy to lay yourself. Here is a quick list of items you’ll need to take on this task. When at your local hardware store, be sure to pick up:


• Shingles In The Same Or Similar Colour & Size 

• Roofing Nails 

• A Hammer 

• Roof Cement 

• A Sharp Utility Knife

How To Lay New Shingles

Sweep away any debris around the area before working. Keeping your working area clean is important. 


If the existing shingle has a crack, use roofing cement to secure it. Further, if the shingle has a section missing, cut a section from the new material. Then, glue it together. The goal is to have a flat surface so that it’ll be even when you install the new shingles. 


Next, use the utility knife to cut the new shingles. Here’s a quick visual guide on how to cut shingles.

Before installing the new shingles, you’ll want to lay the starter strip. A starter strip Cut it so that it’s the same width as the existing shingle. Then, nail it down. This will help add a protective barrier. 


Lastly, line up the new shingles and nail them down. Use roofing cement to cover the nail heads. 

Replacing Shingles

Another DIY method for simple shingle repair is to replace them. You can replace the old with new instead. This method will require all the same tools, plus a pry bar. First, carefully remove the nails and lift the old shingle. Next, grab your new shingle and round the back edges with a utility knife. Rounded edges help to slide it in easier. Lastly, nail it down and use roof cement to cover the nail heads.


When adding new shingles over old ones, it can be tricky to make sure your surface is even. Any gaps or ridges are an invitation for water to enter. Therefore, replacing shingles can make the job easier.

When It's More Than Repair

Although you can DIY a roof repair, sometimes you may realize it’s more than that. If your roof has entire sections or missing or damaged shingles, this may be a sign you need a roof replacement. For this, you’ll have a few options. One being a reroof. 


A reroof differs from a roof replacement. Instead of laying new shingles over a few mangled ones, a reroof does that for the entire roof. A roof replacement means getting rid of the existing shingles and starting from scratch. However, with a reroof, that step isn’t necessary. 


Laying new shingles over the entire roof means this roofing job is typically cheaper and takes less time. However, roofing materials weigh a lot. Your roof can’t handle layers upon layers of material. That’s why a reroof can only be completed once. If your roof has yet to undergo a reroof, keep this option in mind. Keep in mind that you cannot do a reroof on a slate or wood roof. 


There are also many benefits to having roofing work complete before winter. Planning your roofing project should include both financial aspects and the season

Benefits & Considerations To Reroof

If your roof’s underlying structure is in good condition, but the shingles need replacing, then a reroof can do just that. However, keep in mind that if your roof already has other issues like leaks, then avoid reroofing. It’s best to remove everything and start with fresh underlayment. Your roofer will complete a walking inspection to see if it’s safe to do a reroof. If the surface feels spongy while walking on it, that’s a sign of damage. 

Get In Touch With A Pro

Perhaps you went up on your roof and realized there are more damaged shingles than you initially thought. If you suspect this is more than a simple repair job, contact a reputable roofing company. They can properly inspect your roof and give you guidance on what’s best. In addition, they work with the top roofing material brands to ensure a high-quality result. Using cheap material for your DIY project could lead to more work in the future. When your roof must protect your entire home, we recommend investing in it.

At Tony’s Roof Repair, we only offer high-quality service at an affordable price. With 24/7 emergency repair service, you won’t have to worry about a surprise roof leak. Contact us today for your estimate.